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About DGShannon

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  1. DGShannon

    Trial de Espana (So. California)

    The event will be held in Reed Valley, CA. on May 22nd & 23rd. You can find more info at their website: http://www.eltrial.org/
  2. DGShannon

    Trials snob

    Thanks. I will be 46 this April and I started riding when I was 8 years old. Throughout the 70's, really after first seeing "On Any Sunday", I fell in love with trials bikes and what their riders could do. I immediatly recognized that that was where the true skill was, but all of my motocross/enduro buddies kept talking me out of that Honda TL125 I had my eye on! (Because the Montesa Cota 247 in the movie was way to exotic, of course!) Time goes by, and in 1999 a lady I work with saw some motorcycle pictures in my office and commented that her boyfriend rode bikes and they had just come back from a competition in Italy. Turns out, he was a minder for the Trials de Nations team. She asked me out to a local trials event and that was it. I immediatly came home, sold off some bikes for funds, and purchased a 97 Beta Techno to get started on. Trials is a remaining passion since that day in 1999, and I regret not having become involved in the 70's so I would be a better rider now. A cool side note is that in addition to my modern bikes, I now own that 1974 Montesa Cota 247 that was way too exotic back then!
  3. DGShannon

    Trials snob

    Your comment is interesting because reflects something I believe I see in trials all the time. People think of trials as a skill, and it is. But more importantly, it is a mindset that comes from a particular type of character. Exactly what that is, I am not sure, but you can easily see it in the subtlety of your comment. You realized you "sucked on a motorcycle". Everyone entering trials has this revalation. The difference is whether or not there is something inside the rider that will allow them to remain content with continuing to "suck". Those that can find peace with that realization get out of the sport. Those who can't however, remain addicted to trials for a lifetime, because no matter how good you get at it, you realize you still "suck" and can improve with practice! The very definition of "riding a motorcycle" then becomes that practice and improvement. Trials is a very personal and mental sport. You are primarily competing with yourself, your ability to improve your skills, and your ability to use those skills consistantly. If that mental challenge is not a component of the person's character, they will never stick with trials (or become good at it if they do). After you have been in the sport for a while, you can work with a new rider for just a short time and almost always tell whether they will stay with it, or not! Like you, I have ridden motorcycles my whole life. (37 years of it anyway) Yet with all that background, in about an hours time, you determined that it was "too goofy" and that you had "no time for it". In 1999, in about an hours time, I determined that there was no way I could stay away from it! What is the difference? We were both skilled motorcycle riders, with years of experience, before trying the sport. Trials depends heavily on developing skills. But developing trials skills depends heavily on some mysterious piece of a rider's mental makeup and character that makes them stick with it. Another fascinating phenomenon that supports this thought can be found around the pits, or camp sites, at a trials event. You notice that there is the absence of all the ego trips and machismo that you typically find in other forms of motorcycling. Again, this seems to come from the rider's realization that they are competing, mentally and physically, with themself far more than they are competing with the other riders. Year after year, I find the enjoyment of trials, and the people in it, to be far more due to a function of a special kind of character than a special kind of skill. I don't know it that makes someone a "trials snob" or not, but it does appear to be an unavoidable truth as you stay with the sport.
  4. DGShannon

    GRM trialsmaster or Moto Islo

    GRM stands for "Grapevine Racing Motors". The bikes were designed by American trials pioneer Bill Grapevine. Bill was an early trials enthusiast involved with the introduction of trials in the USA in the 1960's. Mr. Grapevine contracted with the Moto-Islo motorcycle company in Mexico to build 1575 bikes from 1971-1975. Moto-Islo went out of business in 1980 and parts are difficult to come by. Sadly, Bill Grapevine passed away last month. If you want to learn more about him and his bikes, Trials Competition Newspaper is in the middle of an article on his life. Part one of the story appeared in this month's (March) issue and part two will be in next month's issue. Go to www.trialscomp.com for more information.
  5. DGShannon

    Trials snob

    Because trials appears as a "slow" sport, it is amazing how many people think that it is something they will try "when they get older". Once (if) they ever do so, they are blown away by the fact that it is so physically, and mentally, demanding. While an "old man" can do it, it is definitely not an "old man's" sport. Because the skillsets required are never mastered, I have never met a late starting trials rider yet who didn't wish they had found the sport sooner, as they would now be a more accomplished rider.
  6. DGShannon


    It depends on why you want it. While it may look like one, it is not a trials bike. They are way too heavy and under powered. They make a GREAT trail bike though. With these bikes it is supply and demand. For one in great shape, $1200 is pretty average. You just have to decide whether it is worth it to you. If you are interested in riding trials on it, you could do a lot better spending the money on a more competition worthy bike.
  7. DGShannon

    Trials snob

    I think you will find that most trials riders have experienced this. It takes a special kind of person to grasp the concept of riding trials. If you are that kind of person, you figure out that trials takes a great deal of finesse and a grasp of the real physics involved in making the bike do the things you need it to. There is a huge difference in knowing how to "ride" a motorcycle vs just "guiding" one as you stand, or sit, on it. With almost every other form of riding, there is speed involved. With speed, come the gyroscopic effect of the wheels, centrifical force, etc. Get a bike going fast enough, step off, and it will keep going all by itself! When you slow things down to trials speed, the gyroscopic effect, centrifical force, etc. all go away and leave only the rider's skillset to make things work. On top of that, a whole new set of physics comes into play that are not typically experienced in other forms of motorcycling. Once you play in that world for a while, and start to get good at it, you can't help but notice how asinine the habits of some people, on other types of bikes, are as they belive themself to be doing things that are really cool. How difficult is it to find a rider who thinks cracking open the throttle, and simply making noise with their exhaust is cool? You can find these folks, a dime a dozen, on the trail, on the track, and at the stoplights (especially if they are on a Harley!). As you get in tune with the "Zen" of trials, you can't help but notice behavior and equally stupid habits like that in other types of riders. The more you see it, the less you want to act like them or ride with them. You also begin to notice that your other types of bikes don't really require as much skill to ride as you thought they did. Net result is that they are just not that entertaining anymore. When you can take a trials bike out to a neighborhood ditch and challenge & entertain yourself for hours, without disturbing the peace or tearing up the ground, it changes you! You have not become a snob, you have just become enlightened as to what "knowing how to ride a motorcycle" is really all about!
  8. DGShannon

    Trials Course

    It sounds as if you have indeed seen the light! When I first got on a trials bike (1999) I had already been riding offroad for 30+ years and thought I knew how to ride a motorcycle. You are so correct in your assessment that speed and power make up for a lot of missing skill and technique in most riders. If you get a bike going fast enough, and then step off, the gyro effect of the wheels will keep it going along nicely, without you, for a good while. Step off a trials bike and it just falls over! Conclusion: A trials bike is ALL about rider skill, technique, & balance and won't stay upright without your physical input. I love your comment regarding not being in shape. So many people look at trials, because it moves slow, and think it must be real easy. An "old man's sport" and something that they may try when they are too old to go fast any more. As you learned, they are in for a big surprise. Using your body, peg weighting, torquing the handlebars, etc. to make the bike go where you want it is VERY demanding physically. When I finish practicing on my trials bike, I am sweating like a pig and know I have indeed just had a workout. Welcome to a wonderful new world of fun and skill! Darrell
  9. DGShannon

    Where are all the old timers?

    Were here! I started in 1967 and am still riding offroad today. Observed Trials now, both modern and vintage. Something I wanted to do as a kid, when the Honda TL125 came out, but all my motocross and enduro friends talked me out of it. Bikes I've owned, in order: Many mini bikes. 6? Honda CT70 6? Honda CL70 70 Honda SL100 (New for Christmas & still have it!) 7? Suzuki 250 Savage, heavy modified for MX 79 Suzuki SP370 80 Honda XR500 83 Honda XL350 97 Beta 250 Techno (Picked up trials in 2000) 99 Montesa Cota 315 00 Montesa Cota 315 02 Scorpa SY250 03 Scorpa SY250 02 Kawasaki KDX 220 (Kept it 2 weeks. Trail bikes MUST be 4 stroke!) 74 Montesa Cota 247 (Still have) 04 Scorpa SY250 (Still have) I noticed your photos of the Speedway bike. That was something I always wanted to try, but it was not exactly a big sport in Texas. Glad to meet up with some other old timers that are still riding. "You don't stop riding because you get old. You get old because you stop riding."
  10. DGShannon

    Trials Bikes

    I've been riding for 36 years, and got into trials in 2000. Like an earlier poster in the thread, I had wanted to do it since I was a young kid. (Actually since I first saw a trials bike in "On Any Sunday") Long story short, I have totally fallen in love with it. I thought I knew how to ride a motorcycle, but trials will humble you very quickly. A motorcycle at speed is basically two large gyroscopes that is content to continue on without you even on it, until it slows down! A trials bike is ALWAYS slowed down, so it is all up to you to balance it. Start adding in all the obstacles you must contend with and you will find a whole new set of skills that a regular motorcycle rider is oblivious of. The great news is that those skill translate back to your regular bikes, making you an even better rider on them. The comment about the KTM "feeling like a land yacht" rings true. Once you grow acustom to the agility of a trials bike, everything else seems like a tank. I finally sold off my KDX-220 for that very reason. No longer any fun to ride, in lieu of all the things you can do on a trials bike!